Weta Workshop is responsible for much of the major movie magic in modern movies like Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Avatar.
Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop became the driving force behind many TV series' makeup effects and digital creations. Peter Jackson, in conjunction with Taylor, began the 'workshop' to provide visual effects for films. Weta Workshop is divided into two departments: Weta Workshop, and Weta Digital. Both participate in the creation of special effects for many movie titles. The major part of the computer generated graphics and props in Avatar were made by Weta Workshop.
Weta Workshop houses a range of disciplines under one roof - including conceptual design, weapons, armor & chainmail, specialist props, vehicles, specialty costumes, models & miniatures, special makeup & prosthetics, public art & displays. Weta Workshop is a 65,000 square foot facility in the suburb of Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand, five minutes drive from the airport and fifteen minutes from central Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
The facility is the biggest in the world of its kind. Housed under one roof is the equipment, infrastructure and capacity to create anything from fine jewelry, costuming or creature suits through to large-scale tank and vehicle construction.
Working with clients and directors from around the world, Weta Workshop has secure Polycom and Videocom and FTP capabilities to allow easy communication and the safe, confidential transfer of information between parties, no matter what the distance.
Being a leading competitor in the field of visual effects, Weta Digital is based on the same complex as Weta Workshop in New Zealand. Weta Digital Provides a full suite of digital production services for feature films and high end commercials, from concept design to 3D animation.
One of their first projects was to provide visual effects for Peter Jackson’s film Heavenly Creatures. They went on to work digital magic on Peter’s blockbuster movies The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. They also work with other Hollywood directors, providing digital effects for box office hits like I, Robot, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Water Horse.
Weta Digital has been nominated for five visual effects Oscars® and won four.
Weta is responsible for the real life Halo Warthog all terrain vehicle, shown in the Halo 3 live action commercials. It is the only one of its kind.